Teachers of Dhaka University (DU) on Wednesday called for more day care centres on the campus, as the existing number is insufficient.
Currently, there is only one day care facility, Chaya Neer Pre-School and Baby Care Centre, which caters to around 2,000 teachers and 3,000 other officials of DU. Chaya Neer opens at 8am and closes at 2pm.
Associate Professor of the Mass Communication and Journalism Department Sabrena Sultana Choudhury said: “Chaya Neer is not sufficient for all the teachers and staff. Many teachers are conducting research or evening classes, so they have to do their work leaving their child at home.
“The university authorities must set up a complete day care centre, as the teachers would gain psychosocial strength from having their children nearby.”
Previously, the DU Faculty of Social Science had taken an initiative to set up a day care centre for faculty members, but the plan could not be implemented over a lack of space, Social Science Faculty Dean Sadeka Halim said, adding that both male and female teachers had raised the demand.
A number of female teachers and other officials of DU said new mothers often worry about their children, and day care facilities would help ease their tension at work.
Provost of Ruqayyah Hall Professor Zeenat Huda said: “Authorities must set up a day care centre for teachers, staff and the female students who have babies. Some of our masters and evening masters students have new born babies. They have to attend classes, leaving their babies at home. Some students drop out and also have to take breaks from their studies to take care of their children.”
When asked about the matter, DU Vice Chancellor Professor Akhtaruzzaman said: “As it is a demand of the times, we will set up a baby day care centre for the teachers and staff. We have a plan to establish a complete and well-equipped central day care centre, with a pleasant and natural environment. We will also recruit experts for nursing the babies.”
According to DU sources, the university currently employs 2,012 teachers, including 630 who are female. A total 621 teachers were recruited at DU, including 195 females, between 2009 and 2017.